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7 ways to get rid of tan from feet

When your feet get exposed to the sun for long, your feet get tanned. Here are some natural ways to get rid of tan from feet.

Wearing covered shoes during summer is probably the last thing you want to do. But not covering your feet will result in tanned lines. The skin on your feet gets darkened due to exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Tanning occurs when the skin produces more melanin, the pigment responsible for our skin colour, in response to exposure to UV rays. This is our body’s natural way of protecting the deeper layers of our skin from damage. It is not easy to remove tan from feet, but some of the natural ingredients may help. We tell you how to get rid of tan from feet.

What is the cause of tanned feet?

Skin tanning is connected to the sun and its rays. Direct exposure to the sun without protection like sunscreen or proper clothing, can cause the skin to tan, says cosmetologist and skin expert Dr Jatin Mittal. Also, engaging in activities such as walking, running, or lounging outdoors, especially during peak sun hours, can lead to tanned feet. Wearing open-toed shoes or sandals that expose the feet to sunlight can result in tanning.

A woman soaking feet in water before trying home remedies to remove foot tan
Too much sun exposure is bad for your feet. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

Here are some characteristics of tanned feet:

  • The skin on the feet appears darker than the rest of the body
  • There may be noticeable tan lines where the skin was covered by footwear
  • Tanned skin can sometimes become dry and rough due to sun damage.

What are the natural ways to get rid of tan from feet?

Here are some home remedies to help get rid of a foot tan:

1. Aloe vera gel

Apply fresh aloe vera gel directly to your tanned feet before going to bed then wash it off in the morning. Aloe vera may reduce pigmentation by
suppressing the release of melanin, according to a research published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings in 2008.

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2. Cucumber

Grate a cucumber and apply its juice to the tanned skin. Leave the cucumber juice on your feet for about 20 minutes and then rinse it off. Cucumber cools the skin and may help reduce tan, says the expert.

3. Yogurt and turmeric

Mix a tablespoon of yogurt with a little bit of turmeric. Apply this mixture to your feet and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes before washing it off. Yogurt has lactic acid, which may help in lightening your skin. During a 2018 study, published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, it was found that turmeric-based cream helped in reduction of hyperpigmentation by more than 14 percent when used for four weeks.

A woman with closed to prevent foot tan
Wear closed shoes to prevent foot tan. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Tomato

Apply fresh tomato pulp to your tanned feet and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing. Tomato has natural bleaching properties that may help lighten the tan, says Dr Mittal.

5. Potato

Grate a potato and squeeze out its juice. Apply the potato juice to the tanned areas and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes before washing off. Potato juice contains enzymes that may help lighten the skin.

6. Gram flour and turmeric

Mix gram flour (besan) with a pinch of turmeric and milk to make a thick paste. Apply this paste to your feet and leave it on until it dries up then scrub it off gently and rinse with water. Gram flour exfoliates the skin, and turmeric helps lighten it.

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7. Oatmeal and buttermilk

Mix the oatmeal and buttermilk to form a paste. Apply this natural paste to the tanned areas of your skin, massage gently for a few minutes. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse off with cool water. Oatmeal acts as a natural exfoliant, removing dead skin cells and improving skin texture. Buttermilk contains lactic acid, which lightens the skin and helps reduce tan, says the expert.

While these home remedies may help to get rid of tan from feet, make sure to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to your feet before going outdoors. Wear footwear that covers most of your feet to protect them from direct sun exposure, and stay hydrated.

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